Thursday, 13 March 2008
When Shall It All End?
I look forward when my trepidation about being at the airport will end. Its funny how I should tremble at the prospect of being in a airport after all trepidation is what innocent Iraqis feel when their beloved country is bombed every minute by both friend and foe and my situation is nothing compared to theirs. Well dont they say different strokes for different folk? I cling to it.
There is a long queue of people; short, white, black, fat, thin, tall and there's me with that sullen face and heavy bag and a heart pounding so loud it jolts the person next to me. Gosh, its only a queue to passport control so what's my problem? My problem is my green passport. The fact that it makes me suffer some sort of discrimination that is not often meted out to holders of other coloured passports unless of course of you are of Pakistani origin or your name has something to do with Islam. In a world ruled by the likes of the powerful Americans, terrorism is only the senior brother to fraud and document falsification.
I say am proud to be Nigerian only when the likes of Tuface wins MTV award or Samuel Peter wins the WBC heavy weight but most times I am ashamed to be Nigerian and dont find it particularly flattering when I have to flash my green passport at immigration control. In fact in the long queue I have to hide my passport until I get to the desk. Call it paranoia but I actually could save myself a lot of scornful looks by that single act. On getting to the desk, am asked all sorts of stupid questions they already have answers to as if they were waiting for you to just tell one lie and they send you packing. When they've been unsuccessful at ruffling your feathers they deliberately keep you waiting for God knows what. On one occasion they told me that they kept me waiting cos some idiots had falsified the Nigerian passport through the Nigerian Immigration Service and issued it to unknowing Nigerians. So they got a directive to check every passport to make sure its not one of the fake ones. I've had my passport 6 years prior to this time and one glance at how battered it is, you don't need some mind numbing experiment to tell that this passport is not one of the forged ones. Yet they made me wait 45 minutes after a long flight of 6 hours. You sit there shuffling your toes, biting the corner of your lips and people stare at you with that she's-a-criminal look plastered all over their faces.
And what's the cause of all this acrimony? I bet as Nigerians we all know so I dont need to go down that route. However my fifty cent is that before you falsify that document or embark upon fleecing people off their hard earned money, think of the millions of Nigerians whom you are criminalising in the process. There are Nigerians all over the world especially in the West who are doing great things but have minute media coverage but every so often the under hand antics of a few Nigerians get ample coverage. As we all know, bad news travel faster. I carry my cross as a Nigerian but indeed its a big burden upon my feeble back...